Sunday, March 31, 2013

Making connections

In the past few years since I started this blog, it's biggest purpose has been to make connections between the thoughts in my head and the work I'm doing. I have a major connection to make, that gets to the heart of why I do what I do.

For the past four months I've been working at digital advertising agency LBi (now MRY). It's a hidden behemoth of a space behind Flatiron's grey walls. You could literally work there for four years and not meet everyone, but I'm working in the creative department among a bustling extravaganza of interesting folks.

LBi calls themselves a marketing agency for the digital world, so my job is to design beautiful online advertisements in the form of websites. I suppose it could be argued that every website is that, however the websites I'm designing are promoting consumer products like this one for Neutrogena.

This is a new one for me but it's reminded me a lot of what both of my parents devoted their lives to - marketing consumer products. My mom started her own direct marketing business in the 80's and People's Bank and Harrah's were among her clients. My dad worked at General Foods for a thousand years and was VP of Sales and Marketing.

Every trip to the supermarket was analyzed for product placement, and every commercial on TV was picked apart. He spent so much time managing the Maxwell House brand I remember I had a mixtape with all of the different options for "jingles"...

I feel more of a connection to them with this work because the feedback we get from the client might be feedback that they would have given to a creative team. It doesn't make it any better (ha!) but at least I understand the client perspective. As a designer I have this practical side that was probably instilled by my corporate parents. Design is a perfect balance for me (even though I will always secretly wish I was a conceptual artist). I love helping people to develop their brand, and providing the valuable service of design, and working within the energy of a creative team.

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